tv The Situation Room CNN June 24, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
walked around prancer style. >> everybody in urbino, italy was great. thanks very much, it was a great honor. >> where in the world is edward snowden? he looks for a country to give him asylum. >> the george zimmerman murder trial, a bizarre beginning in the case that's gripped the nation. >> and celebrity chef paula deen takes another big hit after admitting she used racial slurs. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." the man who stunned the world by leaking secrets about nsa surveillance is now the object of a world wide man hunt.
edward snowden has been on the move from moscow, he may have caught a flight to cuba or he may catch the next one. what do we know so far, tom? >> what we know is there is a lot of uncertainty. we know that somewhere out there edward snowden is on the move or at least has been on the move. over the weekend he was definitely in hong kong where he met with some of his advisers there. they talked about possible plans. and he definitely left hong kong to go to moscow over here. how do we know that this happened? we know that this happened because we had witnesses who told us they saw him on the plane, and the russians confirmed that he was on this this is really the last point at which anyone has proof of where he was in terms of anyone we know. this is more than 24 hours ago. the russians notably have not said he arrived in russia. that doesn't mean he wasn't on the plane. it would mean simply that he's still at the airport, sort of in a no man's land.
think about tom hanks in the movie "the terminal." he's not officially arrived but he could still be there. now, this question of whether or not he's moved on to some other location, notably cuba, why do we think that's possible? because there was a flight that left at 2:55 local moscow time and will arrive in cuba in about an hour and a half from now. the reason we don't think he's on this plane, even though this has been one of the plan that has been discussed is because we have someone on the plane who can find no sign of him having boarded. his seat is empty. the reason he might be on the plane is that a van pulled up to the plane before it took off, someone got off the van and appeared to get on to the plane, some unknown person. if he were not on that flight, what other possibilities are there? well, another flight -- i want you to notice this number right
here. this is important. it's called airbus 330-q. we don't know exactly what it means to the aeroflot fleet but we do know that in the past those that have the "q" on them have taken a different flight plan. the earlier flight would have left moscow and followed the curve of the earth like this to cuba, which would take it through a considerable portion of u.s. and canadian airspace. the one with the "q" designation, the flight plan for those planes tends to are much more like this so it doesn't go through any of that airspace. there's been a lot of talk about could a play with him on board be intercepted in any fashion in airspace. where it goes from there, wolf, it becomes even more speculative. there's been talk about him going to cuba and then to
ecuador. the basic theme, wolf, is this: for more than 24 hours, the only thing we really know about this man is he left hong kong and went to moscow and the rest of it is speculation. >> huge, huge mystery unfolding tom. excellent work. with a little help of his friends, edward snowden seems to be staying one step ahead of his pursuers as he tries to find a country to grant him sanctuary. >> we know that snowden has applied for asylum in ecuador and according to wikileaks, a number of other countries as well. wikileaks has made it very clear they are helping snowden in his hunt for asylum. where is edward snowden? he's playing an international game of cat and mouse with u.s.
authorities. in a telephone presser, julian assange said snowden was safe and in high spirits but would not say where or what country he was in but he made clear that wikileaks is helping snowden calling him a persecuted whistleblower seeking asylum. >> this morning the u.s. secretary of state called edward snowden a traitor. he is not a traitor. he is not a spy. he is a whistleblower who told the public an important truth. >> a source tells cnn that snowden's passport has been revoked. according to assange, ecuador issued him a special travel documents to seek asylum but it's not clear iffy used the document to travel. he's believed to have spent the night at the moscow airport. he was thought to have a connecting flight to cuba. but his booked seat on the
aeroflot flight was empty. he has applied for asylum in ecuad ecuador, which is still being considered. >> translator: we have been in touch respectfully with diplomatic bodies in russia and we're told and considering the asylum request made by mr. snowden so that the russian government made the decision they think best according to their own laws and policy. >> reporter: as for russia, official there is have said snowden has not left the airport into moscow streets, and he may be able to stay inside the terminal indefinitely. now, wikileaks has been following this process closely ever since snowden left hong kong. they actually have a wikileaks
staffer and a legal researcher is traveling with snowden at this time. but assange made it clear even they they know where snowden is, they don't want to give any details as to his exact location. >> is wikileaks also confirming they're providing funding to snowden on this adventure? >> what wikileaks has confirmed is that they have paid for his flights to his ultimate destination, which we believe to be ecuador, though wikileaks doesn't want to get into the specifics of that route. and also they have paid for the legal counsel in applying for asylum. in that sense wikileaks has been very up front about its support and says no other organization or government has been involved. >> atika shubert in london, thank you very much. by the way, we're tracking that flight that left moscow earlier today en route to havana. right now we're told it is somewhere over georgia, we're told, right now. you can take a look over here as
we're tracking this flight somewhere over georgia. it's supposed to land in havana in about an hour, hour and 20 minutes or so from now. we'll continue to track flight 150. it appears maybe he's not on that flight. that seat where he had a ticket, 17a, is empty supposedly. we have a reporter/photographer on that play. and we have a reporter standing live in havana. so we're all over this story for our viewers. >> secretary of state john kerry is urging russia to cooperate with the united states. he's warning the nsa leaks could have deadly, deadly consequences. >> what i see is an individual who threatened this country and put americans at risk through the acts what he took. people may die as a consequence of what this man did. it is possible the united states will be attacked because
terrorists may now know how to protect themselves in some way or another that they didn't know before. this is a very dangerous act. >> that's just part of what the secretary of state told our reporter. you're going to see the rest of the interview in our next hour when we have a special situation room report, "the nsa leaker on the run." we're devoting the full hour at 6:00 p.m. eastern to this mystery. >> the temporary irs chief has issued his first report on the targeting of conservative groups. new information coming in. let's go to dana bash. what are you learning? >> we're learning something that was not in this report but we're getting from sources on capitol hill. that is it turns out that the irs was targeting liberal groups using the term progressive, in addition to targeting conservative groups using the
term tea party and others. this is a very big development with regard to the irs controversy because of course we have seen hearings and investigations for months now looking into why conservative groups were targeted and that was also explained in an inspector general report. so a question now is why did the inspector general of the irs not also alert the public, alert congress, alert everybody to the fact that progressives, liberals were also targeted. when i say targeted, i mean they used these terms in order to sift through applications for tax-embryonic stem ce tax-exempt status. >> was that done by the same bunch of irs employees in cincinnati or elsewhere? >> we don't know the answer to that. this is -- this comes to us by way of a document dump effectively here on capitol hill just a short time ago. of more than 20 what are called
be on the lookout memos. this one used the term progressive as part of a way to give extra scrutiny or single out this kind of liberal group just like we know and we've seen they have done for conservative groups as well. >> and so it's taking so long for the irs to make this critically, this really important revelation? i mean, how does that happen, dana? >> that's a good question. it is also perplexing. what i can tell you is part of the reason why we are seeing this today is because the irs, in addition to the inspector general report, which we saw a while ago, the irs just concluded its own internal investigation. as part of that i can tell you that they also found that there was no evidence of intentional wrong doing or involvement outside the irs and those bolos i just described, those memos for irs staffers to be on the lookout for particular words or groups, that those have been suspended. and the other they can that is
also important, it was a big part of this controversy, was that a lot of these groups waited for years to get tax exempt status. they have put in place a mechanism for those who have been back logged that those can be expedited now. >> up next, a murder trial is certainly no laughing joke. so why did george zimmerman's lawyer begin his case today with a knock-knock joke? >> and how did the zoo here in the nation's capital lose the red panda in the first place? "i'm part of an american success story,"
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jury and then launches into this profanity-laced string, which just shocked everyone in the courtroom. the jury immediately, their neck snapped and they followed very closely what came out of his mouth next. and what he went on to do was describe essentially how he says the state claims george zimmerman was a man who was foul mouthed, who was a police wanna-be, who profiled the 17-year-old teen after buying candy in a store and a soft drink and then confronted trayvon martin with a weapon, with a round in the chamber, a loose cannon. he said it was nothing more than a web of lies and after this precise, deliberately pointing directly at george zimmerman, he ended with this line. >> we are confident that at the end of this trial you will know
in your head, in your heart, in your stomach that george zimmerman did not shoot trayvon martin because he had to. he shot him for the worst of all reasons, because he wand to. -- he wanted to. >> then you have the completely different take. this time it was two and a half, nearly three hours of the defense laying out its opening statement, basically saying that george zimmerman acted in self-defense, that was it was trayvon martin that assaulted george zimmerman as he was going through his own neighborhood. listen to the dramatic difference in style. don west now for the defense. >> trayvon martin decided to confront george zimmerman, that instead of going home, he had plenty of time. this is, what, 60, 70 yards.
plenty of time. could have gone back and forth four, five times if he wanted to. but choosing not to do that, he either left and went back or just hid in the darkness to see about this guy that he thought was following him. and turned to george zimmerman out of the darkness and said "why are you following me?" >> it was the length, though, of how long it took, almost three hours for the defense to make that opening statement. and again, wolf, beginning with that joke that nobody found funny, a knock-knock joke in a murder trial just simply did not work. that's what many people walked out of the courtroom talking about today. >> they certainly did, martin. thanks very much. let's dig a little bit deeper with our senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin. let me play that knock-knock joke. >> it's already part of legal
lore, this joke. >> knock, knock. who's there? george zimmerman. george zimmerman who? all right, good, you're on the jury. >> what was he thinking? this is a murder trial. >> well, i think the point, to the extent there was a point, he's trying to say you shouldn't have any preconceived notions about who george zimmerman. if you say george zimmerman who, that means you have an open mind and you should be on the jury. obviously it was a terrible joke. in fairness, i don't think weeks from now when the jury is deliberating they're going to think about this joke. >> first impressions important. there are six jurors, all women, one black woman, one hispanic woman and first impressions can mean a lot.
>> you're sometimes told try your cases in a horseshoe. put your most important stuff at the very beginning and boring, not so helpful stuff in the middle. this was the beginning. you had a chance to make an impression. certainly the prosecution made a more powerful, clear impression today. >> trayvon's parents are allowed to be in the courtroom, but zimmerman's parents are not allowed to be in the courtroom because they might be witnesses in this trial and that's raising a little bit of i guess commotion out there. >> that's a legal concept called the rule on witnesses. in almost every trial, if you are a witness, you are not allowed to hear the other witnesses because the theory is you could line your testimony up with what the other witnesses have said. sometimes when you have close relatives, they allow a little more leeway, with the parents, for example, of the defendant, there's been some testimony today about it and the judge may allow them to sit through at least some of the testimony.
>> we'll see what happens. these six jurors obviously have a huge decision to make. thanks, jeffrey. >> tonight anderson cooper will break down today's testimony in a one-hour special. it airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. when we come back, the former italian prime minister silvio berlusconi potentially headed to prison. you're going to find out why. plus, we're expecting a major senate vote on immigration reform in the next few minutes. we'll let you know as soon as it happens. all good? [ chirp ] getty up. seriously, this is really happening! [ cellphone rings ] hello? it's a giant helicopter ma'am. [ male announcer ] get it done [ chirp ] with the ultra-rugged kyocera torque, only from sprint direct connect.
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another rocky day on wall street. mary snow is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in the situation room right now. what happened, mary? >> u.s. stocks managed to mostly recover from early losses today but still finished in the red. the dow closing down almost 140 points, just about 1% amid investor concerns about the fed easing up on the stimulus.
also credit troubles in china. earlier in the day all three indexes were down much more. >> the supreme court has side stepped a major ruling on affirmative action at the university of texas. ruling 7-1 to throw the case back to the lower courts for further review. the decision affirms the use of race in the admissions process but makes it harderplementimple. the university was sued by a white woman. >> silvio berlusconi has been sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of abusing power and having sex with an underage prostitute. berlusconi denies the allegations and plans to appeal. >> and there is good news for
twinkies fans. your favorite snack will be back on store shelves in less than a month. expect the new box to look much like the old one with a new line calling this, the "sweetest come back in the history of ever." countdown is on, wolf. >> twinkies are back. thanks, mary. thanks very much. >> up next, as the nsa leaker stays a step ahead of the u.s. manhunt, there's growing political fallout for president obama. and also fallout for paula deen after she admits to using a racial slur. that's coming up. (girl) what does that say?
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or an annual fee. ever. go to citi.com/simplicity to apply. happening now, nsa leaker on the run and some republicans pointing the finger at president obama. is it time for him to be doing or saying more? >> and immigration reform, we'll have the results from a major senate vote happening in a few minutes. and how did the national zoo in washington, d.c. manage to lose rusty the red panda? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." to our top story now, where in the world is edward snowden?
he was expected to be on a flight due to land in cuba in the next hour. there's no indication, though, that snowden ever boarded that plane but another cuba flight is due to lead in a few hours. he flew from hong kong to moscow yesterday and reportedly spent the night at the airport. it's presumed he is still in russia. he's being helped by wikileaks who says he's in a "safe place." he's applied for asylum in china and ecuador. ecuador is now weighing the request. the united states is calling on other nations to cooperate with the manhunt. president obama spoke briefly on the matter today. >> what we know is that we're following all the appropriate legal channels and working with various other countries to make sure that rule of law is
observed. and beyond that i'll refer to the justice department that has been actively involved in the case. >> talk about the political fallout from all of this, our chief political analyst georgia borger is here, along with democratic strategist donna brazile and former white house press secretary ari fleischer. that's all we heard from the president today. peter king, the republican congressman from new york, he was critical of the way the president is dealing with this. listen. >> hate to be in the middle of a crisis second guessing the president but where is he? why is he not speaking with the american people and why is he not more forceful in dealing with foreign leaders. >> what's going on here? what is the president up to? >> this is a crisis that's going on in realtime. you really cannot expect the president to come and update us every ten seconds. and today you saw the white house spokesman, jay carney, not
specifically speak about, in fact avoided speaking about the conversations the president is having. we don't know if the president is having direct conversations with putin or others. what we do know is that this president has promised a general conversation about privacy and security, which i do think he needs to lead at some point. and we also know that this is an administration that is frustrated, that is infuriated and that is probably embarrassed to a certain degree about the way this has played out because they've come under some criticism from people asking questions, legal experts, saying, for example, why didn't you revoke snowden's passport immediately? folks in the white house say that wouldn't have made any difference but some legal experts say yes and you should have charged him sooner. >> ari, you worked at the white house under president bush. what do you suspect is going on?
>> i think the state department is working back channels and all their various contacts in china and russia and so are people at the national security council trying to get the message that you need to deliver him to us, this is going to harm our relations. i think the president is right not to speak out yet and he won't make phone calls to those world leaders, or president putin, unless or until it's wired or agreed that the call will result in his release. the last thing you want to do is put the president on the phone for failure. i blame russia and china. they are sticking their thumb in our eye and they are to blame. i think president obama has shown an inclination to roll over. one thing is you need to be respected or feared and it appears president obama is neither. >> are you convinced if a russian national security official had leaked had kind of
information to russian journalists and then wound up in the united states, the united states would return that person to russia? >> well, i don't think you can compare the two. russia is not a system where they're governed by a rule of law. an official in russia leaking information like that is correct i think it's very likely that he'd be dead if the russians caught him doing it and none of us would know about it. so i just think that's a false equivalency. we are a nation that's ruled by law and we have treaty with other nations for return of people and as jay carney accurately pointed out today, russia and the united states have engaged in these trades before when we sent people to russia when russia requested it. russia should do the same for us. >> the criticism of the president is that he looks weak right now and he can't get either russia or china to cooperate. how does he deal with that? >> i think it's false criticism, it's too early, i think it's
gratuitous. we do know that secretary kerry was very forceful and jay carney's comments were very tough on china saying it will set back mutual trust. the president has put out officials to go out there and keep us apprised of the situation. i hope they capture this individual. i do believe all available resources are out there. but to just hail this criticism is -- >> you want him arrested and tried for espionage? >> i believe he should be brought back to the country and tried. absolutely. >> it's like we're back to the cold war mindset again. when the russian spokesman was asked about this, he was kind cagey about what they knew about snowden and whether they had been in contact with snowden. the attorney general speaks with this counterpart in hong kong, seemed to have gotten assurances
that this eveninngs were going the attorney general here wanted and that didn't happen because china clearly took the reins here. so it seems in some odd way that the cold war is back. >> you think the longer, ari, this goes on the more embarrassing it is for the obama administration? >> it is because what people quickly measure is presidential influence. why are they doing this? why can't president obama get snowden released to us? these are the things that pass right up the chain to the person at the top. whether it's deserved or not deserved, partially deserved, that's the way it is. so the longer it goes on, the much more tricky this will be for president obama. >> thanks very much. a reminder, you're going to want to say tuned in here next hour, our entire hour, a special report, the nsa leaker on the run, we're tracking his moves. 6:00 p.m. eastern right at the top of the hour.
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all right, this just coming into "the situation room." this is delta flight 1763, something you don't see every day. according to delta airlines, this plane on a taxi to a holding area prior to departure, look at this, the right side landing gear of delta flight 1763 from washington reagan national airport to minneapolis, st. paul, actually left the pavement and made contact with airfield turf. no injuries. passengers have been bussed back to the terminal where they're being reaccommodated on another
flight to leave at 7:00 p.m. eastern. but that plane is still stuck in the grass over there. no idea what happened, why the plane left the runway and wound up on the turf. we'll found out. >> just days after celebrity chef paula deen was dropped by the food network, another major corporation is now following suit. smithfield foods announced today it's also cutting its ties and deen's relationships with qvc and walmart could also be at risk. what is going on elena? >> smithfield foods is the world's largest pork processor. the company said in part smithfield condemns the use of offensive and discrippkricrimin language or behavior of any kind and therefore we are terminating our relationship with deen. it's important that our values
and those of our spokespeople are properly aligned. smithfield is the latest company to drop deen after she admitted to using the "n" word in a deposition of an ongoing lawsuit. now, as you mentioned, the food network announced last week it was not going to renew deen's contract. the announcement came on the same day videos surfaced online in which deen apologized for her remarks. here's what one media relations consultant has to say about the fallout. >> once you're accused of being a racist, you always have that asterisk next to your name. even if she settles, what is she settling and what is she admitting? at this point she's trying to salvage a little of her name, some of her product lines and maybe some of her cookbooks.
she knows she'll have a base of support that will stick with her but beyond that it will be very marginal and she'll never be the paula deen she once was. >> now qvc has said it is reexamining its relationship with deen. a spokesman for walmart would not comment on that company's ties with deen. wolf? >> thanks very much. just ahead, the senate holds a crucial vote which could potentially determine the future of comprehensive immigration reform. >> and the nsa leaker may or may not be a flight to cuba right now. we're tracking his where abouts. all of that coming up in our next hour. with centurylink as your trusted technology partner, you can do just that. with our visionary cloud infrastructure, global broadband network and custom communications solutions, your business is more reliable - secure - agile.
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a rare and very vulnerable red panda somehow managed to wander off the national zoo right here in washington, d.c. rusty was rescued in a nearby neighborhood, but that's hardly the end of this mystery. brian todd is over at the zoo with more. brian, what happened here? >> reporter: well, wolf, rusty, the red panda, gave zoo
officials quite a scare for several hours today. they finally caught a break when a local resident spotted him, called them and tweeted a photo. but rusty had gotten more than a half a mile away and into a busy neighborhood before he was finally secured. captured, crated, on the way home. rusty the red panda, not even a year old missing from washington's national zoo for several hours. he made his way into a busy neighborhood off zoo grounds before being captured safely. brandy smith, a senior zoo curator involved in the capture tells how a zoo team lured him into their grasp after surrounding him. >> we were able to walk up to him. we sent the keepers with which he's most familiar. so the keepers called his name. he was familiar to them. they calmed him down. we were able to approach him with a net, capture him in a net, transfer him to a crate, and then we just took him to our veterinary hospital. >> reporter: red pandas are listed as vulnerable with 10,000 of them or less in the world.
rusty was born in captivity. could he have survived on his own? we asked smith what dangers he faced outside the zoo. >> i think the biggest danger is if he ate any inappropriate food. >> anything other than bamboo or any other food prepared by his keepers. for the moment, zoo officials say rusty has no visible signs of injury or illness. we pressed a zoo spokeswoman on another key question. how in the world do you lose a red panda? how did it happen? >> well, we don't know right now. complete honesty. we do not know. that habitat has housed red pandas for several years. no one has escaped from it before. the habitat is constructed to keep red pandas in and to keep people out. >> reporter: a possible clue, red pandas are natural climbers, tree dwellers. could rusty have used a tree to climb out of this exhibit behind me? zoo officials say their horticultural team came here after he escaped and found no obvious route out, but they're not ruling it out as a possibility, and one possibility could be right here. you see the electric fence. the exhibit son the other side
of that fence. there is a tree up there on one side of the electric fence that hangs over. that could have been one of the escape routes. zoo officials say they'll look at surveillance cameras, do the best they can to trace rusty's movements between 6:00 p.m. sunday when he was last sighted and 7:30 monday morning when they noticed him gone. >> we're going to look at every aspect of the exhibit. we will not let this happen again. >> reporter: even though rusty shows no visible signs of injury or illness right now, zoo officials say they're going to keep him in their veterinary hospital for at least a few days to monitor him before they're putting him back into his exhibit with his female partner shauna. >> have they mentioned any other possibilities other than him climbing a tree and escaping? >> reporter: they said they're going to look at everything, including the possibility that a human being could have lured him out and maybe taken him before maybe ditching him in a neighborhood somewhere. that's not out of the realm of possibility in a situation like this. this park is still open, even
after dark. it's not hard to get in here, even though it's technically closed, you can still kind of walk in here in the later hours. that is a possibility. they're looking at surveillance cameras and all of that. >> i hope they figure it out so it doesn't happen again. in our next hour, the secretary of state john kerry does some tough talking on the nsa leaker. it's a special hour-long report, part of our search for the nsa leaker. that's coming up. [ female announcer ] think all pads are the same? don't. [ woman ] the technology in these pads... best creation ever! [ female announcer ] always infinity. invented with mind-blowing foam so incredibly thin, you'll be surprised it's up to 55% more absorbent. genius. always infinity. "that starts with one of the world's most advancedy," you'll be surprised it's up to 55% more absorbent. distribution systems," "and one of the most efficient trucking networks," "with safe, experienced drivers." "we work directly with manufacturers," "eliminating costly markups," "and buy directly from local farmers in every region of the country."
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what's the latest? >> reporter: the latest is, as you said, the senate is wrapping up this critical test vote. it is a test to see just how much support, particularly on the republican side, immigration reform has. technically, this is a procedural measure on that deal that we reported on late last week, on implementing more border security, putting more on those measures in place into this bill before the path to citizenship for illegal immigrants can start. so what we're looking at right now is the magic number, how many yeas it gets, because supporters are hoping that they can push it up, even close to 70 senators. they hope that if that happens, then they will able to get momentum going into the house of representatives, which is a lot less receptive to this big immigration reform bill. >> the problem really isn't in the senate as much as it is down the road in the house of representatives, right? >> reporter: absolutely. there's no question about it. obviously it is led by republicans and you have many
republicans in very red districts who don't want to vote for anything that has anything to do with the path to citizenship. they're worried about it policy-wise and at politically, about getting challenged from a fellow conservative. >> all right, dana. thanks very much. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. and this is a "the situation room" special report, nsa leaker on the run. edward snowden is dodging a worldwide manhunt right now, his trail going cold after fleeing hong kong for russia. we're tracking his possible escape routes. also, frustration and embarrassment for president obama. did u.s. officials drop the ball on the snowden case? and will they take extreme measures to capture him? and we'll hear from the snowden supporters who are paying for his travels. a spokesman for wikileaks joins us live this hour.
it's a global game of hide and seek. the fugitive nsa leaker is trying to outrun and outsmart u.s. authorities. it's not clear where edward snowden is right now. it's possible, possible that he's on a plane from russia to cuba. we're tracking the flight. it's due to land this hour, or so. going to find out if he managed to sneak onboard. snowden also trying to find asylum somewhere in the world. could it be iceland or ecuador or other possibilities? he fell off the radar screen after hong kong allowed him to leave yesterday and fly to moscow despite a u.s. request for his arrest on espionage charges. the white house says it assumes he's still in russia. correspondents are all over this story, covering it around the world. we're live this hour in four continents. also joining us are christiane amanpour and fareed zakaria.
let's begin with the very latest from our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. barbara, what are you learning? >> reporter: wolf, at this hour, it's been the same all day long. high stakes poker between obama and putin, and the debate is over where is edward snowden and how the u.s. is going to get him back. if edward snowden is still in russia, as the u.s. believes -- >> he is in russia, yes. >> reporter: it could be washington's best chance to get him back. that's why the u.s. is pressing the russians so hard. >> we do expect the russian government to look at all the options available to them to expel mr. snowden back to the united states. >> reporter: that could mean russian authorities going to the airport, taking snowden into custody, and putting him on a plane to the u.s. it's a cold war style drama not seen in decades. >> putin will have to decide whether he's more valuable as a trading chip or whether he just
gets so much glee out of the embarrassment of the united states, he's going to put him on a flight to havana. >> reporter: if snowden gets on a plane to cuba or ecuador, neither of those countries are likely to return him to the u.s. >> once snowden leaves the moscow airport, the chances for the administration dwindles dramatically. >> reporter: snowden could be in havana only a short time. he has applied for asylum in ecuador, whose foreign minister says snowden is being persecuted. >> the u.s. is advising these governments that mr. snowden is wanted on felony charges, and as such, should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel other than is necessary to return him here to the united states. >> reporter: another option, if an aircraft carrying snowden enters u.s. air space, air traffic controllers could tell the pilot to land. the president could also take extraordinary action, sending up fighter jets to order it to land. but experts say military force is unlikely.
>> that would create a colossal international incident, and i just don't believe the president wants to do that. >> reporter: look, wolf, if snowden is on a plane tonight with a destination of ecuador, and he is granted asylum there that he apparently has applied for, relations between the u.s. and ecuador are so poor, the u.s. is likely never to get him back, and certainly if he winds up in cuba, don't expect him to head back to the united states either. >> all right, we'll see what happens. thanks very much, barbara. the obama administration clearly fuming right now that snowden was allowed to leave hong kong and land in russia. did u.s. officials, though, drop the ball? our foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty is taking a closer look into this part of the story. what are you learning? >> reporter: right now at this hour, senior administration officials are burning up the phone lines, and that includes the head of the fbi, who called his counterpart in moscow. and their aim, as you heard, is
to get them to give up snowden, arrest him, and send him back to the united states. what the administration doesn't want is a repeat of what happened in china. on june 14th, with edward snowden hiding out in hong kong, the justice department filed sealed charges against him. the next day, the u.s. requested the hong kong government to provisionally arrest him for purposes of extradition. but the state department didn't revoke his passport until almost a week later. but they say they did it before he left hong kong, claiming they needed more documents from the u.s., hong kong authorities allowed snowden to board a plane anyway and flee to moscow. in an interview with cnn, secretary of state john kerry denied the administration committed a major blunder. >> he was under a sealed indictment, and the moment the indictment was unsealed and we
knew of it, at that point, his passport was pulled within two hours. >> reporter: the u.s. also did not ask interpol to issue a red notice to arrest snowden. a red notice is sent when you don't know a fugitive's location. but it was clear snowden was in hong kong. a furious white house says hong kong and beijing knew exactly what they were doing. >> we are just not buying that this was a technical decision by a hong kong immigration official. this was a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant and that decision unquestionably has a negative impact on the u.s.-china relationship. >> reporter: the state department warns there will be consequences. >> if we can't count on them to honor a legal extradition treaty, then there's a significant problem, so this is something we're raising very directly with the chinese. >> reporter: yes, but what kind of consequences?
the state department isn't saying. and china experts note that given that economic relationship and also the political diplomatic issues like syria, retaliation could actually be counterproductive, wolf. >> thanks, jill. thanks very much. let's get to the mystery of that current flight from russia to cuba and whether edward snowden is actually onboard. we're tracking its progress right now as it gets closer and closer to havana. supposed to land fairly soon. this hour, we're told. patrick, what are you learning, what's going on? >> reporter: we know that flight 150 is a little bit delayed, supposed to be landing a little after 7:20 eastern. of course, we don't know if edward snowden is onboard. it's one of the possibilities that's been thrown out there
because there is regular flight service between moscow and havana. so not only is it a way for him to leave moscow, but he's coming to a country that might give him safe passage. there are many journalists who are onboard as well. and before they took off, they didn't see any sight of him, so he would have had to have been stuck aboard this plane. cuban officials are not commenting yet. they're not commenting on any reports, whether he's traveling to ecuador or other latin-american country. so we're just going to have to see. >> and over the past few days, there's been no official public comment from anyone in a position of authority in havana, is that what i'm hearing from you, patrick? >> reporter: yes. we've been talking to cuban officials. so far they just say they're
monitoring the situation. i've walked all over the airport. nothing out of the ordinary. there are some russian diplomatic cars here. but that's probably normal when there's a flight coming in from moscow, regular flight service here. cuban authorities wanted to bring edward snowden in. they're very good at bringing people in and out of the country. they have a lot of practice doing that. we just don't know. could be on a flight, we might not see him. there's no sign of him at all. >> i suspect cuban authorities would love to get their hands on those four laptops that he supposedly is carrying with him as well. we'll see what happens. patrick, stand by. we'll get back to you in havana. officials in ecuador say they received an appeal from snowden for asylum, saying he fears for his life if he's
returned to the united states. paula newton is joining us from ecuad ecuador. what are you learning down there? >> reporter: ecuador has been more up front about their involvement in this. make no mistake, wolf, without the involvement of ecuador, this entire chain of events would not have started. edward snowden started with the refugee papers in hong kong. that's what allowed him to make his way into moscow. we know the intention is for him to come here. the ecuadorian government saying we want to uphold human rights. for many here in ecuador, that really rings a little hollow considering this is a country criticized for not having freedom of expression. it certainly isn't perfect, and that they have a lot of so called gag laws against the media, at least that is the criticism from within. at the center of all this, the president here, he is actually a university of illinois educated economist, who at the same time seems to really understand what his economic and diplomatic political relationship should be
with the united states. but does not hesitate -- this is a man with a lot of confidence. he just came in in a landslide victory in february. does not hesitate when he can for political leverage to certainly show his independence with the u.s. and u.s. foreign policy. they're saying right now they're looking out for the human rights of one individual. >> so if he shows up where you are right now in ecuador, we assume he could stay there presumably if he wants for the rest of his life. >> reporter: absolutely indefinitely. there is no reason that he couldn't. no reason certainly that ecuador would turn him over, even if the u.s. requested. if you're edward snowden, you're still taking a lot of chances. you know, years down the road, with this government or with another government, who's to say he won't be used as a political pawn for advantage down the road. right now, though, this seems this was either the best option or the only option that edward snowden had. >> i'm sure he'd have to worry about a new government if it were to emerge down the road in ecuador, what that new government might do as opposed
to the current government. we'll stand by and check back with you, paula. thanks very much. paula newton reporting from ecuador. up next, is the nsa leaker making president obama and the united states look weak? our own christiane amanpour and fareed zakaria are there standing by. and we're watching the flight from russia to cuba. is edward snowden onboard? we'll tell you what we learn when the plane lands. ♪ chances are, you're not made of money, so don't overpay for boat insurance. geico, see how much you could save. the great outdoors...
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the nsa leaker. let's get some more from fareed zakaria. he's the host of "fareed zakaria gps." and cnn's chief international correspondent christiane amanpour. she's the host of "amanpour" on cnn international. the white house press secretary jay carney was adamant that the white house doesn't buy whatever the chinese are saying about the release of snowden to moscow. what does this whole ordeal say about the current state of u.s.-china relations? >> well, i think it just highlights what everybody knows is a pretty difficult relationship between the u.s. and china, and the u.s. and russia. and for china, i mean, look, they did let him go. it's clear that they didn't want him on their territory. they don't want to be part of this diplomatic mess. but also, for them it was a bit of a propaganda coup because snowden revealed that the u.s. allegedly was spying on china and hong kong and this and that. of course, the u.s., which accuses china of massive cyber hacking, so china had that bit of propaganda coup. and then russia, of course,
putin really wastes no opportunity to stick a i think iffer in -- stick a finger in the eye of the u.s. we'll wait to see whether they decide what to do with snowden, because if he's not in cuba, most people think he is in that transit area in moscow. of course, with the latin american countries in question, ecuador, venezuela, cuba, all these countries, they make it their business to be anti-american. they are part of an alliance that is anti-imperialist. so all of this gives them a lot of nationalistic and public relations kudos. >> what about that u.s.-russian relationship, fareed? because it's pretty tense right now. forget about snowden for a moment. there are other issues that have underlined that tension, especially syria, for example. but could you envisage russia actually handing snowden over to the u.s.? >> well, you know, just last week, putin and obama reestablished the red line, that
hotline between moscow and new york that so dominated our imaginations during the cold war. i think president obama should pick up the phone and pick up that red line and talk directly to putin. i think it's conceivable that the russians might play ball, but they will want something in return. look, this is a huge pr bonanza for the chinese, for the russians, for the ecuadorians. but at some point, they will have to get back to doing business with the united states. and yes, we do want some things from the russians, and it's been a very tough relationship. the president, to his credit, has tried to create a kind of working relationship between the united states and russia, saying we're not always going to agree, but let's figure out a way to have regular communications. this is a very good test. the russians are going to want something in return and the question is, is there something we can provide, because otherwise it's going to be very difficult to see how this resolves itself. >> let me press you, fareed. what would be worthwhile for the
russians? give me an example of something the u.s. would have to give moscow in order to get snowden. >> oh, there are trade issues, for example. the russians have been trying to get jackson vanek repealed. the restrictions on russian grain export. the smaller things like that. there may be some russian spies that are still confidential. but the main question i would imagine that the americans are thinking is how much do we want to give up? at the end of the day, this is an embarrassment, but it's not as though -- snowden is not a cia station chief whom we're trying to get back and we're willing to trade things for. he's somebody who has broken the law. he's a felon. he has to stand trial here. it's an odd situation. snowden's odd behavior here is itself very odd, like julian assange. civil disobedience is meant to be that you break the law because you believe the law is unjust and you are willing to take the punishment for it. that is what martin luther king did. that is what civil disobedience
is about. people like snowden are saying -- we're engaging in civil disobedience, but we're also on the lam, we're going to run away so we face no consequences. so how you deal with a character like that is complicated. >> do you think the u.s. looks weak right now? >> i think beyond that, i don't know whether it looks weak or not weak. but i think from what i'm hearing, this snowden is in possession of an enormous amount of secrets that the united states does not want to get into the hands of anybody else. not just adversaries, but anybody to let them know how they are electronically surveying. so i think that is slightly being obscured, the gravity of the amount of information that he has in this logistical discussion, and by reverse, the potential assault on civil liberties, that's also being a little obscured in all of this. and then, of course, you've got the situation whereby these countries that snowden is going towards are not known for being friendly to freedom of expression, or freedom of the
press. so it's all, you know, exceptionally weird and tortured right now. but all these extradition laws have loopholes. this is really much more of a political situation between the u.s. and these countries and it's going to take some kind of political resolution. >> we don't even know if he's on that plane, not on that plane. but we should know fairly soon. all right, guys. thanks very much. we're tracking a flight that may be carrying snowden to havana. it's due to land fairly soon. the world will be watching. we have a reporter at the havana airport. critics want to know why isn't president obama saying more publicly about snowden? there are pros and cons. we're taking a closer look at the possible reason why he's taking a back seat right now. [ male announcer ] with wells fargo advisors envision planning process,
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right now? edward snowden is creating big diplomatic problems for president obama and his team. the secretary of state john kerry speaks to cnn about the tensions with russia and china. and snowden's u.s. passport has been revoked, but a lot of people are asking what took so long? i'm wolf blitzer in washington. this is "the situation room" special report. nsa leaker on the run. right now, the nsa leaker could be in russia. he could be on his way to cuba. he could be somewhere else. let's be honest. we don't know where he is. the u.s. government doesn't seem to know either. we're tracking a flight right now from moscow to havana that's due to land shortly. there were indications edward snowden might take that flight. we'll see what happens once it lands. we have a reporter at the havana airport. cnn's tom foreman is joining us right now with more on the hunt for snowden after a sudden exit
from hong kong yesterday. what's the latest? >> wolf, the latest is exactly as you said. nobody at this hour knows where he is. we know that not long ago, he was still on u.s. soil, just not that many days ago. but he got away from that position and now the hunt has been on. we know over the weekend he was in hong kong, where authorities were hoping he would be returned, but instead, he got on a flight from hong kong to moscow. this we know, because we've had witnesses tell us he was on the flight. this we know because the russians said he was on the flight. but that's where the certainty ends in this whole story. the russians have said he did not enter russia, which would imply that maybe he was in the airport the entire time or still is in the airport. think about tom hanks in that movie "the terminal." you're neither here nor there, you're in transit. that could be the situation. but we don't know that to be the case. it could be that, in fact, he boarded this flight, which is going to land in a matter of minutes in havana.
we'll hopefully find out. but we don't know that either. we have someone on that flight, an the person on that flight did not see him onboard. other reporters on flight saw his empty seat. they did see a van pull up to the plane before it left and somebody seemingly get out of that van and maybe get on board the plane. so it's possible he is in here. and if that's the case, that means he actually flew right up over here, over the united states, over atlanta down the coast of florida, right into cuba. but we don't know that to be the case. it's possible that instead of that, perhaps he took some later flight that would have happened out of that area. or beyond all that, wolf, there's speculation about the idea of some sort of private flight. did she have some other way of getting out of the country. when we talk about this whole string of going from moscow to cuba to ecuador, which everyone keeps talking about that is simply speculation. nobody knows.
the only thing we know with reasonable certainty is that he did move from hong kong to moscow, and this is the last place that anyone outside of his circle seems to have seen him. wolf? >> all right, tom, thank you. president obama says he's making sure the global manhunt for the nsa leaker is staying within the law. the white house is warning other nations that edward snowden is a wanted man, and they have a responsibility to keep him out or turn him over. let's go to our chief white house correspondent jessica yellen. she's got more from there. >> reporter: from the white house, there are no big noisy shows of outrage. instead, they're following a playbook that's based on quiet behind-the-scenes diplomacy. president obama is taking a low profile in the hunt for nsa leaker edward snowden. >> we're following all the appropriate legal channels. and working with various other countries to make sure that rule of law is observed.
and beyond that, i'll refer to the justice dertment. >> reporter: white house press secretary jay carney blamed china for letting snowden flee hong kong and warned -- >> this is a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant, and that decision unquestionably has a negative impact on the u.s.-china relationship. >> reporter: as of monday afternoon, the administration believes snowden remained in russia. the president made a call to president putin, and if he has not, why not? >> we have a strong, cooperative relationship with the russians on law enforcement matters and we expect the russians to examine the options available to them to expel mr. snowden. >> reporter: perhaps the white house has been studying history. >> there are very few options. we need to remember that during the entire cold war, we never could recover a defector or an intelligence agent. once they went outside the
narrow range of allied countries. >> reporter: that hasn't kept the president's critics from pouncing. >> you hate to be in the middle. a crisis second-guessing the president, but where is the president? why is he not speaking to the american people? >> reporter: senator lindsey graham sent russia's ambassador to the u.s. a letter urging snowden's return, calling the case an important test of the reset in relations between our two countries. but voices of caution say the president should not gamble u.s. prestige on a play he's likely to lose. >> avoid making this even more of an embarrassment to the united states. the problem is that advice is easy to give to the president. the chance that the american media and congress will take it is virtually nonexistent. >> reporter: wolf, clearly the more the president comments on snowden and the manhunt, the greater the potential embarrassment for the u.s. if
snowden is never extradited here to the u.s. at the white house today, it was back to domestic matters as usual. the president held a meeting on immigration reform. jay carney talked about health care implementation, and tomorrow the president plans to unveil huge climate change effort to combat climate change. so the white house is pushing ahead with its domestic agenda. but in terms of the news that's getting out to the public, it's all being eclipsed by the stories of the nsa leaker. wolf? >> jessica is over at the white house. thanks very much. let's get some more now on the diplomatic fallout from snowden's travels. the secretary of state john kerry spoke with cnn's foreign affairs reporter during his trip to india. >> reporter: let's talk about mr. snowden right now. let's talk about what the u.s. is trying to do to get him back. >> the united states through various agencies is reaching out to lots of countries in an
effort to try to secure mr. snowden. he needs to come back to america and face the justice system based on the choices that he's made. >> reporter: well, it seems a little bit that you let him fall through the cracks, because waited two weeks to revoke his passport. i understand there was no interpol notice. >> that's actually not correct. that is not correct at all. he was under a sealed indictment. the moment the indictment was unsealed and we knew of it, at that point, his passport was pulled within two hours. so his passport was pulled immediatel lly that there was a unsealed -- not indictment, a complaint. we don't know what authorities allowed him to leave under those circumstances. we obviously have to find out from the chinese what happened. we hope that the russians will recognize the request of the united states, particularly given that over the last two
years, we have sent seven prisoners back that they requested from the united states. so we need to cooperate on this because it's important to upholding rule of law. we hope they will. >> reporter: i know you're trying to get the russians to cooperate, but so far, it doesn't look as if they are. and you personally have invested a lot in your relationship with both president putin and the foreign minister. they're not helping now -- >> well, i don't know -- >> reporter: over the weekend, you said also that on syria, the syrians are playing -- the russians playing a double game. they're talking about a political process in geneva and arming the regime and making that impossible. so why don't you have more leverage for all the investment that you're putting in this relationship. >> let's wait and see what happens before we start -- >> reporter: have you spoken to foreign minister labrov? >> i have not, but they are well aware of our position. and i think it's a huge mistake to start leaping into judgments
while something is still unfolding. let's wait and see where we are. >> reporter: well, if they don't cooperate -- >> i'm not going to get -- i'm not going to speculate. i'm not going to get into hypotheticals. >> reporter: what kind of consequences is china going to face? >> we'll see what happens when we find out exactly what happens. if you have knowledge that beijing made a decision, you have knowledge that i don't have. and i'm not sure where you have it from. but i don't know what the sequence was yet. and i doubt that you do or a lot of other people do. so let's find out precisely what took place here, and then we'll make our judgments. >> reporter: mr. secretary, six americans have been charged under the espionage act since the obama administration took over. all of them for leaking information to journalists. this act has been used over the last 90 years very -- in isolated cases for the most notorious spies like aldridge ames. are you putting him in that category? i mean, can't you see the reputation of the united states is a democracy with a free press
is being threatened here? >> reporter: on the contrary. what i see is an individual who threatened his country and put americans at risk through the acts that he took. people may die as a consequence of what this man did. it is possible the united states will be attacked because terrorists may now know how to protect themselves in some way or another that they didn't know before. this is a very dangerous act. and anybody who wants to make him a hero is misjudging how they stay safe day-to-day and how complicated it is to protect america in today's world of self-made terrorists and of internet radicalization and other things that take place. you know, when the boston marathon bombers were suddenly uncovered and everybody realized these guys have been using the internet to radicalize themselves and learn how to make a bomb, what was the first question people asked? they said how come you guys in the government didn't know these guys were doing this and
radicalizing themselves? well, the answer is because we don't look at people's e-mails. and we don't go inside and just do a random scoop like that. so people need to really draw a distinction here between the degree to which protections exist in the united states for all of the rights of free speech and communication and association versus an anonymous random program that is attempting to protect americans. i'll stand by that distinction any day of the week. >> tough words from the secretary of state. speaking with our foreign affairs reporter. on the run with the help of wikileaks. up next, i'll speak to a spokesman for that organization about what they're doing in trying to help snowden, and if they know where he is right now. we'll also go live to hong kong. why did officials there let snowden leave for russia? out there owning it. the ones getting involved and staying engaged.
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hurry, and take advantage of these savings. adt. always there. take a look at this flight tracker. says that flight 150 from moscow to havana getting ready to land in havana. it's been about a 12-hour flight from moscow to havana. we don't know if edward snowden is on that plane. we should know fairly soon for sure. we have a reporter aboard that aerofloat flight. we also have patrick oppmann on the scene at the havana airport. we'll let you know as soon as we know. the nsa leaker edward snowden is getting help with his global odyssey from wikileaks. that's the organization made famous for publishing corporate and government secrets. the spokesman from wikileaks is
joining us from new york. thanks for joining us. do you know where edward snowden is right now? >> yes, we know where he is, and he is safe and well. but i cannot disclose his location at this moment, nor the plan that he has for travel. >> why is that? why can't you tell us where he is without providing necessarily an exact address, can you at least tell us, is he on that flight havana that's supposed to land? >> i cannot go into any details, i'm sorry about that. it's for security reasons. we've been asked to do that. and of course, if you consider now that there's a request by the administration here to other countries to rendition him back to the u.s., it calls for concerns as well. but he is safe and well. >> and so you personally know where he is, but you're not at liberty to share that information with our viewers, is that right? >> that is correct. >> will we know fairly soon?
will we be able to get that information fairly soon? or is it going to remain secret for a long time? >> it will be known fairly soon, i would say, without going into any details or narrowing it down. >> within the next few days? >> without narrowing it down, fairly soon, i would say. >> so i assume maybe within the next few days, but you say he is safe. can you share with us what his mood is right now? you saw that story in "the new york times" describing his final hours in hong kong. he was apparently so worried about if he came back to the united states losing his access to the internet. what can you share about his mood based on what you've heard from your colleagues at wikileaks? >> well, what i hear is that he is in a very good spirit, and he knows that he has done the right thing and he is, in my mind from what he has described, a patriot. he is worried about the narrative actually not being on
the real issues here at hand. mainly what he has been disclosing. the important information that is now out there in the public about this surveillance, and following the media today, i'm not surprised because it's very much about this cat and mouse game instead of focusing on the revelations. and that's where the focus should be. >> you heard the secretary of state say in the interview that we just aired that americans might die, he says, because of what snowden has done. he's endangered, he says, american lives. what's your reaction to that? >> my reaction is that you should ask a further question and ask the secretary of state to clarify that, because it's propaganda. we heard the same thing at wikileaks years ago when we started publishing the diplomatic cables and the field reports from iraq and afghanistan. we were accused to have already maybe have blood on our hands.
now three years have passed since these important leaks by wikileaks, and there's not a single report that anybody has been harmed as a result of those leaks. let me suggest that the same thing will apply to the important revelations by snowden. >> is it true he has four laptops with a lot of nsa information, classified u.s. information still on those laptops, information that has not yet been made public? >> i cannot go into details about what kind of computers he has and how many, but he has indicated that certainly there is more to come. >> do you personally know what else he has, what kind of information he still has that has not yet been released? >> i can't really discuss any matters that pertain to this. >> when you speak about rendition, what is your sense that the u.s. might try to snatch him someplace and bring him to the u.s. is that what you're suggesting? >> well, that is something that he himself has suggested in an
interview he did with the guardian when he identified himself as the source of this information. that was a concern that he has, and if you look at the past history, of course, that has been known to happen. so of course, that is a legitimate concern. >> when did wikileaks get involved in this case? >> well, i can say that without going into details in the timeframe, we made it public when he identified himself that we were willing to support him, and we understood the importance of what he has done, and we know how difficult it is to stand forth and in your earlier segment, there was discussion about this ridiculous war on whistleblowers that is now going on in this country. our assistance has been limited to access to our legal team. connecting with his legal team.
of course we have an expertise there in terms of extraditions and asylum requests, international treaties for obvious reasons, with reference to julian assange. secondly, we have a go-between between his legal team and the government asking for asylums. i did that personally in my home country in iceland, and the same thing has applied to the ecuadorian authorities, and that has been our role. >> could you see him winding up in iceland? >> well, that is a possibility. it is a relatively nice and safe country. but let's see what happens. >> we'll stay in close touch with you. thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. up next, edward snowden's passport has now been revoked. but would the u.s. have had more options if it had revoked that passport earlier?
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flight 150 has landed in havana. the flight from moscow to havana is on the ground. patrick ottman, our correspondent in nevada, is standing by at the airport there. what do you see, patrick? tell us what's going on? >> reporter: we've seen the flight land. flight 150, about 12 hours of flying, land here in havana, tampaing toward the main -- taxiing toward the main airport terminal three at the nional
airport. of course, the question is, is the plane carrying edward snowden. one of the possibilities -- just a possibility at this point -- is that he might try come to ecuador via havana. of course, you know, this is the plane route that many -- [ inaudible ] didn't see any sign of edward snowden. as the plane, the passengers come off, if in fact we see any sign of -- of edward snowden, i can tell you there's been something of more of a police presence than usual at the havana airport. it's probably because there's a lot of media here. they're seeing something inside the airports. looking at the plane, as of now, no cars, it's pierce to be a fairly normal -- at appears to be a fairly normal landing. >> we have a reporter who will be getting off, as well. we'll check with him. patrick, stand by. we'll get back to you as soon as
we know more. reporting from the havana airport. let's talk about what's going on with jeffrey toobin, senior legal analyst, former federal prosecutor, and tom 15 to fuent former law enforcement january lift. you suggested two weeks ago that the u.s. should revoke his passport, putting enormous pressure on thok prevent him from leaving -- hong kong to prevent him from leaving. >> i don't know if they were having back channel discussions and didn't want to force the chinese to make that decision. again, if they had brought the charges immediately -- here's a guy on public television telling the world that he committed felonies. so they could have charged based on the comments that me made, admissions he made, and then immediately notify the state -- >> why did they have to put it under seal and then spend another week before they released him? >> yeah. ten billion people in the world know he's committed these felonies and the charges were
sealed. i have no question, no idea why -- why seal them, what the benefit. normally you seal charges because you don't want the bad guy to know you're looking for him and to escape. this is clear, he's beyond that when he was making these admissions in hong kong. so i don't understand why the charge were sealed, and i don't understand -- there may be a great explanation -- >> jeffrey, do you have a clue of what's going on? >> secretary of state kerry in his interview with cnn earlier said he -- that his passport was -- was taken away before he left hong kong. so the fact that he didn't -- >> he left on sunday, and it was revoked on saturday. >> on saturday. he obviously didn't need a passport to leave. i just think this was a political operation from the beginning. the chinese government wanted him out of there, and they got him out of there, i don't think what we did when we -- we revoked his passport, when we filed the charges mattered much at all. china wanted him out, and he left. that's all -- and our involvement was not positive or
negative. it just was irrelevant -- >> you used to deal with these issues when you were at the fbi, international matters, revoking a passports, seeking extradition. you know a lot about this. >> i know how the process is supposed to work. that's fine for gangsters and financial criminals and drug traffickers. this became an international political incident. and so at that level, it's different than the normal routine whether it be extradition or deportation when a passport's been revoked. >> thank you very much. where in the world is edward snowden? jeanne moos will take a closer look at the global odyssey capturing attention around the world. e money on car insurance with geico... yeah, a little bit more of the lime green love yeah... or letting them know they can reach geico 24/7 using the latest technology. go on, slather it all over. don't hold back, go on...
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breaking news. the aeroflot 150 that may be carrying edward snowed send on the ground in havana. we'll have more on what's going on. meantime, jeanne moos like all of us wants to know where is edward snowden. >> reporter: and you think you've had some bad vacations. it was as if the world press were edward snowden's travel agent. >> is he going to go to cuba, venezuela? >> if he goes to an independent third country like iceland -- >> no report yet he's going to
north korea. >> haven't heard that yet -- >> not on the list yet? >> i wouldn't rule anything out. >> reporter: no matter they need maps. >> he planned to fly to cuba on the way to seeking astyle numb e -- asylum in ecuador -- >> reporter: jeff madzinger imagined him in midair jumping from a plane to air ecuador. as a media mass at the moscow airport showing snowden's picture, it felt like a movie. >> edward snowden plays catch me if you can. ♪ fly with me let's fly let's fly away ♪ >> reporter: leonardo dicaprio con artist character used a bevy of flight attendants to distract those pursuing him. >> let's go down to peru. >> reporter: make that ecuador. but when reporters piled on the plane they thought would take snowden there -- >> we have a producer on that plane. >> we had our own crew on that plane. they went up and down -- they
didn't see him on board. >> reporter: just an empty seat where snowden was expected. >> 50% of the people on board there aircraft. r going to be journalists. >> reporter: cnn's phil black was one of those stuck on the 12-hour flight without snowden who seemed to melt away. ♪ >> reporter: no wonder one youtuber portrayed snowden as snowman. "guardian" columnist glen greenwald tweeted, "all the media excitement was this white bronco moment," but at least we knew o.j. simpson was actually in the vehicle we were following. jimmy kimmell tossed side? en into one nonsense -- snowden into one nonsensical question of the day. >> do you agree with the commission's decision to postpone game seven tonight because edward snowden leaked obama's plan to use drones to strike down the summer solstice? >> absolutely not. >> i don't think this is the interview for me. [ laughter ] >> reporter: snowden often got advice on where to go from david letterman. >> he should go to the olive
garden. you're always family here. >> reporter: better food than on the aeroflot flight. jeanne moos, cnn. ♪ >> reporter: new york. >> the plane on the ground in havana right now. that's it for me. thank you very much for watching. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. next, edward snowden on the run. president obama pleads for the return of the nsa leaker, but is anyone listening? plus, the supreme court rules on affirmative action today. the reverend jesse jackson out front. and actor jim carrey says he won't promote his new film because it's too violent. does that add up? let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, please, pretty please, russia, the u.s. is